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Old 08-29-2014, 09:29 AM   #2086
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Default 8.28.14

Secondhand Glory
Dan Britton
August 29, 2014

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Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your faithful love, because of Your truth.
–Psalm 115:1

Set
Growing up with two older brothers meant I never got anything new. I was always dished secondhand items:clothes, sporting equipment, and toys. My big day came when I was eight years old and my dad bought me a new lacrosse stick. It was a glorious moment. The lacrosse stick glowed from newness. That experience marked me as a young athlete. It passed through my hands first—not second, third, or fourth!

God does not want our secondhand glory. Secondhand glory is taking credit when God should be getting the credit first. It is subtle. As athletes, it is easy to take credit because we are always getting it from teammates, coaches, and fans.

God rejects secondhand glory. Throughout the Bible we see that God only accepts firsthand glory. Cain found out the hard way that God wants the best, not the leftovers. It goes beyond who should get the credit. Credit is done with the mouth. Glory is done with the heart. Glory is about honoring our Master with our best and worshiping Him with a pure heart. When we get it right and honor Him first, God will honor us. 1 Samuel 2:30b states, “I will honor those who honor Me, but those who despise Me will be disgraced.”

As athletes, our goal is to give God firsthand glory. As it states in the Competitor’s Creed, “Let the competition begin. Let the glory be God’s.”

Go
1. When do you find yourself giving God secondhand glory?
2. What other examples in the Bible besides Cain does God reject secondhand glory?
3. When competing, why is it easy to take the glory?
4. In what ways can you remind yourself to give God the glory first?


Workout

Extra Reading:
Genesis 4:1-7
Psalms 96:7-8


Overtime
Jesus, help me not to give You secondhand glory. As a Holy God, You deserve first. When I compete, teach me how to give You the glory all the time. Amen.
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:24 AM   #2087
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Default 9.05.14

Regime Change
September 5, 2014
Kevin Murphy



Ready “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
-Galatians 2:20 (NIV)


Set
After I finished up my preseason football camp, I reflected heavily on how the mental aspects of sports take a toll on us all during any kind of camp or season; whether it be learning technique, understanding key team concepts, memorizing plays, you name it.

Throughout this seemingly grueling process, our coaches, as we know, provide us with the knowledge, support and encouragement necessary to be able to achieve our goals; and, even though we might struggle at times to understand or achieve what our coach really wants, any good athlete really has an undying thirst to achieve their coach’s standard.

However, there are those players with self-seeking attitudes; those who disregard what they are instructed to do in order to achieve their own agendas on the field. I bet you can think of an example of someone that fits this description. However, no matter how skilled these players might be, they all succumb to difficulties that seem impossible to overcome without coaching or teaching.

In Galatians, Paul is facing a problem similar to that of a coach dealing with an arrogant player. In his letter, he is addressing that by turning back to their governing Jewish law, they are devaluing what Christ had done to bring salvation to the world; just as headstrong athletes devalue what their coaches do for them. Instead of living for their Jewish traditions, Paul states the real way to receive conviction and salvation: by living in Jesus Christ.

Essentially, Paul is telling us to change our “spiritual regime.” Instead of governing ourselves by what we think is right, we must let Christ govern us into decisions that we know are right. Today, allow Him to come into your heart, and accept the Holy Spirit as He seeks to aid you in your struggles, joys, and anything in between.

Just as none of us would want our actions to be reflective of those of a cocky athlete, we shouldn’t want our decisions to be reminiscent of the world’s ideals.

As Christians, we should have an unquenchable desire to achieve God’s unique plan for every one of us. Don’t be misled by a misled generation, but allow yourself to prosper in the undying grace of Jesus Christ!


Go
1. Are you reflecting a selfish attitude or a Christ-like attitude?
2. Have you ever struggled doing things by yourself on the field?
3. Are you being misled by peers into actions that are not Christ-like?


Workout
John 14:6 Acts 4:12 Romans 8:26 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 Ephesians 5:1
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:15 AM   #2088
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Default 9.09.14

All In
September 9, 2014
Carissa Dahik's

Ready
"Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men."
- Colossians 3:23

Set
I recently heard the quote, “Failure has more to do with lack of determination than lack of talent.” I don’t know who said it, but I agree with it.

As competitors, we all know that talent is a great advantage. But talent isn’t enough. There has to be an inner drive, will and passion behind it. Distance runners, triathletes and other endurance athletes practice the critical techniques of their sports, but they know they won’t finish their races without endurance itself, which is more than just a physical ability. At its essence is commitment—sometimes referred to as being “all in.”

If you were putting together a team how would you decide who to choose for your roster? Perhaps the strongest, fastest or most intelligent? Maybe. But take a look at 1 Cor. 1:27, which says, “Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”

Those closest to Jesus were probably considered average at best. So how did they end up on Jesus’ team? The answer can be found in Acts, one of my favorite books of the Bible. This book shows us the amazing things God can do with people who are “all in.” With complete commitment to the Lord, these men had all their needs met. They had thriving ministries, and their opposition had great difficulty trying to stop them. Acts 4:13 sums it up this way: “When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.”

So many people today focus on what they don’t have instead of what they do have. They may not be the most naturally talented, so they resign themselves to substandard positions and refuse to attempt anything challenging. On the other hand there are people who focus their attention on God and offer Him their lives whether they are the best at something or not. They ask Him to guide and equip them and give it everything they have, believing He will make up the difference. These men and women are joyful in every aspect of their journeys and understand that favor, promotion and blessing come from God. And their attitudes give Him plenty to work with.

If we want to start seeing Acts-like results in our lives, we need to start behaving like the people who lived it. They weren’t the most naturally talented, but they were all in. And that’s something we can apply to our lives on the field and off.

Go
1. Are you complimented more for your talent or your character?
2. In what areas of your life do you feel called but unqualified? Do you let that stop you from pursuing what you believe God wants you to do?
3. What areas of your sport and your life require endurance?
4. How can you develop more endurance?


Workout
1. Psalm 127:1
2. Proverbs 16:9
3. Galatians 6:9


Bible Reference:
Colossians 3:23
Psalms 127:1
Proverbs 16:9
Galations 6:9
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:45 AM   #2089
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Teammates of Integrity
Hal Hiatt
9-10-14

Ready
"These are the things you must do: Speak truth to one another; make true and sound decisions within your gates. Do not plot evil in your hearts against your neighbor, and do not love perjury, for I hate all this”—this is the LORD’s declaration." - Zechariah 8:16-17

Set
Trusting others is crucial for success on and off the field. Knowing your teammate will do everything that he or she can do to help you become successful means that you have confidence in the integrity of that person. In other words, you know they will be truthful and make good decisions that affect not only themselves, but you as well.

When teammates are all working together in this relationship of trust, they are well on their way to winning! Ultimately it is a personal choice to be an individual of integrity and make wise decisions that will help a team. As Christian competitors, we are accountable for what we are doing, saying and representing with our efforts on and off the field. We have to continually ask ourselves this question: “Am I doing what I’m doing (or saying what I’m saying) because it serves others or because it serves me?”

The truthful answer to this question will reveal motives that are either filled with integrity or not. Also, your teammates will follow when you lead God’s way. The power of the Holy Spirit enables Christian athletes to be influential as he or she lives with integrity. Your teammates will know they can trust you if they understand you are looking out for their best interest, even above your own!

When we are faithful to do the right thing because it helps our teammates to be the best that they can be, it creates a sense of camaraderie and opens the door for winning. Being a leader of integrity is contagious. It inspires others to follow suit and live an honest and selfless life. Can you imagine what your team would be like if every teammate lived this way on and off the field? So, why not let it start today with you!?

Go
1. When has a teammate been truthful with you, even if it was difficult? How did your respond?
2. Can you remember a time when you made a decision in practice or a game that benefited a teammate over yourself? What was the outcome?
3. What are the main reasons that we are not honest with each other?

Workout
1 John 3:10-15
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:06 AM   #2090
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The Bench Warmer
By Lenette Peterson
September 11, 2014


Ready
“For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ.”
-1 Corinthians 12:12


Set
Every team has them. Most of us have even played the role ourselves, but no one really likes to. It’s the role of the bench-warmer.

There are only so many players who can play at one time, and every team has players who sit on the bench more than they play in the game. But does this make them any less of a team member than one of the starters? No way! The role of a bench-warmer is simply different than that of a starter. Bench-warmers have big roles in contributing to practices, developing team spirit, and in giving necessary breaks to the starters.

In 2 Samuel 20:14-22, we find a story about a wise woman who saved her whole city from being destroyed. Her name was never mentioned, and later in the book of Ecclesiastes, she is referred to as a wise man! But this doesn’t by any means diminish the fact that she took it upon herself to fulfill a very important role (finding out why Joab was trying to destroy her city). She played the part of the unsung hero—the bench-warmer; the second-stringer—and did it well.

Each player on a team is vital to that team's success. The starters are important, but they aren’t the only players of value. The bench provides much-needed relief and support that enables a team to succeed. Not every player will have their names written in the record books, but sometimes it’s the unsung hero who changes the tempo of a game or even scores the winning goal.

Today, whether you are a starter or a reserve, know that you are a valuable part of the team and that the Lord has put you in a position to contribute to the success of the group. Take the opportunity He has given you to love and serve those around you and to do it with excellence that brings Him glory.

Go
1. Have you ever had to sit on the bench for an extended period of time? How did that make you feel?
2. How do you treat the less-talented players on your team?
3. Have you ever thanked the bench players for their support and encouragement? If you are a starter, how can you encourage them?

Workout
2 Samuel 20:14-22
Ecclesiastes 9:13-16
1 Corinthians 12:12-20
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:03 AM   #2091
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Success
John Wooden
September 12, 2014

Ready
“Well done, good and faithful slave!”
— Matthew 25:21

Set
Success is peace of mind that is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.

When do we know that we have succeeded? When asking ourselves this question, we should forget what others think. They don’t know. We should be more concerned with our character than with our reputation. Our character is what we truly are, while our reputation is what others perceive us to be. As I have often said, having a good reputation doesn’t determine success. Neither do awards, accolades, or achievements.

Winning seems so important, but it is actually irrelevant. Having attempted to give our all is what matters; and we are the only ones who really know the truth about our own capabilities and performance. Did we do our best at this point in our life? Did we leave all we had to give on the field, in the classroom, at the office, or in the trenches? If we did, then we are a success at that stage of our life. But being successful at one point doesn’t necessarily make us a success at every point; and it does not mean that we reach the apex. We must learn to give our all in one success after another.

Paul gave his life to God. He gave everything he had to every task. Although he occasionally stumbled, he didn’t quit, drop out, or give up. His faith never wavered. In every situation, he trusted God, served Christ, and finished well. He knew that he would hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful slave” (Mt 25:21). He had peace of mind.

In eternity, success is also having done our best to allow God to do His best in us and through us. When we live like this, we will also hear the words, “Well done!” and we will also have peace that passes all understanding.

Go
1. Do you have a peace that passes all understanding?
2. Will you hear the words “Well done”? What changes can you make to become all that God created you to be?

Workout
Extra Reading: 2 Timothy 4

Overtime
Great God and author of plans, thank You for Your plans for me. Help me to become all You created me to be. Amen.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:51 AM   #2092
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Taken For Granted
Ashley Burns
9.15.14


Ready
"If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal." –Philippians 2:1-2

Set
In 2008 I decided to run my second marathon. I was in the middle of my training and "hit a wall." Actually my training buddy and I both hit a wall. After putting in over 50 miles of running a week for 8 straight weeks, our bodies were tired and our motivation was lacking.

Why is it that when we can’t do something, such as not compete due to injury, we would give anything to get back to where we were? Yet when we are in the best shape of our lives, we take for granted the precious gift God has given us.

We don’t realize how much we take something for granted until we’ve lost it. God wants to change that in us. He wants us to be wholly devoted to the gifts and talents He gives us. He wants us to realize how valuable those gifts are and use them to further His kingdom. What do we take for granted? It can be a relationship, a sport, a hobby, or even our devotion to God. Once we recognize a gift from God, it will be harder to take it for granted.

Go
1. Make a list of all the things you take for granted on a daily basis.
2. How can you use those things to glorify God and be filled with joy?
3. Why is it so easy to take these things for granted?

Workout
Colossians 2:2; 2 Timothy 4:2; Hebrews 10:24-25

Overtime
Lord, help me to remember that everything I have is from You and to be used for Your glory. Forgive me for the times I have taken my gifts and abilities for granted. Show me on a daily basis how to serve You more. Amen.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:30 AM   #2093
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Him with Burdens
Vince Alexander
September 16, 2014

Ready
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”
- Psalm 55:22

Set
Life consists of many challenges and burdens—some tougher than others. As athletes and coaches, we go through tough losses, injuries and team conflicts, while in life we experience things of both lesser and greater consequence.

When it comes to challenges and burdens, we all handle them differently. But by and large most of us try to deal with them on our own using our own power, intellect and control. And for those of us who are believers this shows a lack of faith.

God desires our trust. He wants to connect with us and bear all of our burdens (Matthew 11:28, 1 Peter 5:7). The problem is we don’t really believe that God will take care of our problems and meet our needs. We’re impatient, and we want our problems solved immediately and in our own way.

Scripture tells us, though, that our Heavenly Father is most able to meet all of these needs (Philippians 4:19), but too often we listen to our enemy who wants us to believe differently. Satan works hard using our senses, our sins and our circumstances to lead us astray. Why? Because he wants to destroy us and take us down a path leading away from God’s wisdom. So if we’re going to overcome we need to pray without ceasing, meditate on God’s Word, worship Him and obey His teachings. If we ignore or slack in these areas we will be left most vulnerable to the enemy and susceptible to his attacks.

Today, examine your own challenges and burdens on the field and off. Are you trying to solve them on your own without God, or are you trusting Him to bear your burdens and work out the situation? If you truly believe His Word, you can believe that He’ll redeem any situation for your good (Romans 8:28). He loves you and is worthy of your trust.

Go
1. How are you handling your present challenges?
2. What would it look like for you to give all of your burdens to God?
3. Do you trust Him to redeem your situations for good? Why or why not?
4. Do you consistently spend time praying, reading His Word and worshipping? Do you obey His Word? Why or why not?

Workout
• Proverbs 3:5-7
• Romans 8:28
• Philippians 4:6-7
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:33 AM   #2094
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I just noticed that this past Friday I have been posting these devotionals for 8 years.
To God be the glory...and Time Flies.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:53 AM   #2095
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What If?September 17, 2014
By Sarah Rennicke


Ready
These are but the fringes of His ways; how faint is the word we hear of Him! Who can understand His mighty thunder?
-Job 26:14

Set
Practices can get repetitive. The same plays, the same conditioning, the same fundamentals over and over again. We listen to our coaches because they have the game plan marked out for the next competition, and we keep in the lines to work as one unit.

Order is important and necessary to bring us to the highest level of performance.

But God is not a checklist.

We don’t do what we’re supposed to or say what’s expected and mark it off as complete. In the same respect, God doesn’t give us a list of instructions so we can be confined to life in a box of rigid obedience.

Whatever is going on in your life on and off the field, with teammates and family, there might not be a lot of room to believe He has your best interests in mind.

You’ve heard about giving God your talent, how He made you and how He has a purpose for your life. But you might be wondering, “Who is God? If He’s as close to me as everyone says, why can’t I feel Him? Is He at work in my life?”

My response to your questions is… what if?

What if you were carted off the field with a career ending injury and you no longer had sports to rely on?

What if as hard as you practice for that title, you never feel the weight of a trophy in your hands?

What if the longing that’s gnawing at you just won’t go away, no matter how many times you’ve tried to banish it from your presence?

What if you were seen, truly and wholly seen, beyond your ability, to the depths of your heart?

What if.

What if what you’ve been wondering about, what you’ve been seeking, has been by your side the whole time?

It’s ok to be curious. It’s ok that you’ve been hesitant and it’s ok that you’re not perfect. Absolutely no one expects you to be. And if you hear that, it’s a lie.

I ask that you search your heart, open up those deep spaces that no one gets to see and ask yourself, “What if?”

What if you were loved without reason?

What if the only thing that mattered was not how you played the game, but how much hope your heart could hold?

What if you dared to walk into that darkness and let the Light come pouring in?

You are seen. You are loved. You are forgiven.

What if you really believed it?


Go
1. Have you treated your spiritual life as a checklist, simply going through the motions?
2. What could your faith look like if you believed God to be big and outside the box?
3. Do you have confidence that if your playing days were to end tomorrow, you have more to offer the world?
4. What can you do to focus on your true worth in God’s eyes?

Workout
•Psalm 139:13-18
•Jeremiah 29:11
•1 John 4:19

Overtime
God, I want to come before You completely as I am, without worry about what I’ve done or burdened with expectations others have placed upon me. I want to know who You are, and who You say I am. I want to ask the “what if?” question and know that there is something wonderful inside me that You want to bring out. Help me to know my worth comes from You and not what I do on the field. Let me see myself as You see me. Amen.
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:12 AM   #2096
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The Large Heart Project
Nathan Stover
September 18, 2014

Ready
"I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart."
-Psalm 119:32 (NASB)


Set
About 13 years ago during college I started running as a way of staying in shape. Over the years, I’ve come to love the sport, and because of that, the verse above caught my attention, and I have continued to meditate on it.

I recently read a research article about the physical size of a person’s heart muscle. The research noted that the size of a runner’s heart was measurably larger than the size of an ordinary person’s heart. As the runner trains on a regular basis, the heart begins to pump blood with more volume and with more power, causing the heart muscle to strengthen and increase in size. Doesn’t that sound a lot like Psalm 119:32? I believe this concept can help our hearts grow spiritually as well.

Much like a marathon runner or elite athlete trains regularly, disciplines his or her body and practices restraint, the Christian, with the help of the Holy Spirit, reads the Bible, seeks God in prayer and aims to live like Christ. Just like the athlete who trains, the person who continues to run in the way of God’s commandments finds that, the more they do it, the easier it gets.

Study someone who has an unhealthy heart, and you will find blood clots, cholesterol, plaque and dying muscle tissue. Unless these things are dealt with, they will die. Often the physician will recommend more exercise. With exercise the blood begins to circulate faster, and the particles of cholesterol and plaque are forced out. Over time, the heart becomes healthier and stronger, and it begins to increase in size.

Spiritually speaking, plaque and cholesterol can be symbolic of sin that has established a stronghold in our hearts. Think of all the passions that occupy even little compartments in your heart. Entertainment, personal goals, lust, power, material possessions, popularity, sports, and many other things. In Matthew when Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, He said that it was to love the Lord with “all your heart.”

Our heavenly Father wants ALL of your heart. For a lot of us, the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts, but we keep Him in a little compartment the same size as Facebook or our iPhones. But, if we truly desire the abundant life He promised us, we need to give Him all of our heart.

So, what is the secret to having a large heart? To “RUN” as hard as you can after God!

Go
1. If you were committed to Jesus whole-heartedly, how would your life be different?
2. The Holy Spirit always wants to occupy more and more of our hearts. What things in your heart need to be removed so that He can do so?
3. Great things happen through teamwork. Can you find some other friends in Christ who will help you run in the way of His commandments?

Workout
Matthew 22:36-38
Philippians 3:12-14
1 John 3:20-23
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:13 PM   #2097
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The Link
Michael Kenley

Ready
"Based on the gift they have received, everyone should use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God."
— 1 Peter 4:10

Set
Football players at Virginia Tech carry on a meaningful tradition. Each offensive player carries a chain link that symbolizes the teamwork they exhibit both on and off the field, as well as the responsibility each player has to work toward the success of the team.

I have adopted this tradition at the high school at which I now coach football; however, our chain link is symbolic of several biblical principles rather than simply inspiration for team victory. We carry our chain link to every practice and game as a reminder that each player is significant, valuable, important, and dependent upon the others not only for success on the football field but in our walk with Jesus Christ.

Participating on a team, whether as a coach, manager, trainer, or player, is a privilege that carries great responsibility. Each member must do his or her part to serve others. The same principle is true in every area of life. Using our gifts and talents for the good of our neighbors, coworkers, family members, and church fellowship is necessary for the good of all. Each believer is uniquely gifted to glorify God, but we must utilize our gifts on the team of life.

Go
1. Are you using your talent and gifts to assure the success of others?
2. Are you modeling selfless, sacrificial servanthood to your players?
3. Are you encouraging your players to use their gifts for the good of others?


Workout

Extra Reading:
Romans 12:1–8
1 Corinthians 12:12–31


Overtime
Heavenly Father, thank You for making me a part of Your team by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I pray I would be a team player, living dependent upon Christ and interdependently with God’s people, serving others with my gifts and talent for their good and Your glory. Amen.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:18 AM   #2098
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Default 9.22.14

Sports Is Not Your God
Dukes Knutson

Ready
"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides Me."
— Exodus 20:1–3

Set
It’s interesting how we can take just about anything in life and use it for good or evil. James 3 illustrates how fire can be good or evil. It only takes a small spark to set a forest on fire and yet what is more soothing on a cold winter night than sitting before a crackling fire that radiates a comforting heat? Is fire good or evil?

I have been blessed to coach high school athletes for eighteen years and have dabbled in sports journalism periodically for over thirty years. What I have seen is that sometimes we become so blinded by our involvement in sports that it becomes a “god” in our life. The Lord has clearly instructed us in the very first commandment torefrain from establishing “gods” in our lives that threaten His supremacy. Yet many of us succumb to replacing the Lord with sports. Are sports good or evil?

For me, one of the rewards of FCA is that it incorporates sports into our relationship with Jesus rather than replaces it. Jesus is our Coach, and the Bible is our playbook! Daily workouts such as Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship continually build us up and prepare us for the ultimate game—life itself!

We must take an inventory of the role sports plays in our lives and acknowledge that sports has as much potential to do “evil” in our lives as it does “good.”

Go

1. When have I allowed sports to become a “god” in my life?
2. How can I encourage my players to become involved in sports but prevent sports from becoming their “god”?


Workout
Extra Reading:
Matthew 22:37–39
James 3:5


Overtime
Father, I thank You for the opportunities to live life to the fullest through the world of sports. I ask that You open my eyes to when sports becomes a god. I want You to be first in my life. Amen.
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:41 AM   #2099
Big Daddy
Bronze Club - Dec 18, 2014
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Athens
Posts: 6,405
Default September 23, 2014

Starting Five
Amy McCallum

Ready
"Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer."
— Romans 12:11–12

Set
Many times we think about the starting lineup for an athletic team and how we as athletes work to make the cut. What about God’s starting five—not five people, but five direct commands from His Word.

The verses above are commands from God. He starts the lineup by telling us to never be lacking in diligence. Diligence is a persistent and hardworking effort in doing something. As we continue on through the verse, we find the second command in the lineup is to serve the Lord. This is exceedingly important in the Christian walk. Verse twelve is especially direct. It sets three tasks we are to complete to round out the team. We are to rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction, and be persistent in prayer. These three instructions are power-packed. They tell us to have hope, yet warn that we will face affliction. And through all these circumstances, which encompass much of our lives, we are to be faithful in prayer.

As athletes, we often know the diligence needed to have a great game, yet also know the pain of injury. If we adopt these verses as the “starting five” in our lives, they will sustain us against affliction. God challenges us to serve the Lord with enthusiasm, be joyful in hope, be patient in times of trouble, and above all be faithful to communicate all of our needs to Him.

Go
1. What affliction have you faced that brought you to the point of believing in God’s faithfulness?
2. How is your joy in serving Christ expressed when you are involved in athletics?
3. Look up Ephesians 1:18–19 and Jeremiah 29:11. What other benefits are there for those who believe in the Lord?
4. As a coach, which is the most difficult of these instructions to carry out?

Workout
Extra Reading:
Acts 20:18–21
Hebrews 10:36


Overtime
Lord, help me realize that because of Your sacrifice for me, I can be joyful, no matter what trials I face. Thank You for allowing me to serve You. Thank You for the hope that can only be found through a patient, hopeful, and growing relationship with You. Amen.
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